How to cut laminate flooring under doorways

Written by michele m. howard
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How to cut laminate flooring under doorways
Cut out the bottom of the door jamb when installing laminate. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When installing laminate flooring around doorways you can choose to run the laminate up to the door trim, trace the door trim's profile onto the laminate and cut it out. This method is difficult and seldom produces a good look. A better method is to use a hand saw or rent a special power tool, called a jamb saw, to cut a section from the bottom of the door jamb. This allows the laminate to slide under the frame for a more professional look.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Scrap piece of underlayment
  • Scrap piece of laminate
  • Hand saw
  • Utility knife
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Broom
  • Jamb saw
  • Tape measure
  • Eye protection

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    Hand Saw Technique

  1. 1

    Lay down a scrap piece of underlayment at the base of the door frame. Lay a scrap piece of laminate flooring on top of the underlayment. This simulates the thickness of the flooring to be installed and is used as a guide when cutting the bottom of the door frame.

  2. 2

    Position a hand saw flat on top of the scrap pieces with the teeth against the door frame. Move the saw back and forth to cut away the bottom of the frame. Be sure to keep the saw flat on top of the scrap pieces while sawing.

  3. 3

    Take a utility knife and cut away any old caulking to loosen the trimmed section. Use a screwdriver to pry the section free. Clean this area thoroughly and sweep the entire subfloor in preparation for the laminate installation.

  4. 4

    Lay down the underlayment and install the laminate planks according to the manufacturer's instructions. When you get to the section of flooring for the doorway, you now can slide it under the door's casing. Be sure to allow an expansion gap.

    Jamb Saw Technique

  1. 1

    Follow the instructions as outlined in Step 1 from Section 1 for a hand saw technique.

  2. 2

    Inspect the power jamb saw blade and if it is dull, follow the manufacturer's operating instructions to replace it.

  3. 3

    Measure the thickness of the scrap pieces of underlayment and laminate. Set the jamb saw to this thickness according to the operating instructions.

  4. 4

    Put on protective eyewear. Hold the jamb saw firmly, turn it on and slowly make a small cut into the door frame. Back the saw out and turn it off. Measure the cut to ensure the correct amount of trim will be cut off. Make any adjustments to the saw if necessary.

  5. 5

    Hold the saw firmly and slowly finish cutting the bottom of the door frame. It is OK if you cut a little into the baseboard as this allows for an easier installation and will be covered by shoe moulding.

  6. 6

    Follow the instructions as outlined in Steps 3 and 4 from Section 1 for a hand saw technique to complete the installation.

Tips and warnings

  • Jamb saws can be rented from most home improvement stores.

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